DT 26796

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26796

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **** Enjoyment ****

I thought that today’s Ray T puzzle was a little harder than usual – or maybe I was distracted as we are having the loft insulated (for free!).

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a    Settled camp enclosing one’s settlement (12)
{ SATISFACTION } – start with a verb meaning settled in a chair followed by a camp or small group of people formed of dissenting members of a larger group and then insert I’S (one’s) to get settlement in reparation of an injustice

8a    Scotsman’s tatty accompaniment? (5)
{ NEEPS } – a cryptic definition of what a Scotsman eats with his haggis and tatties – minor point, I’ve never heard tatty in the singular used in this context: over to you BigBoab

9a    Isolation’s over with good man facing apartheid (9)
{ OSTRACISM } – this isolation by exclusion from a group is a charade of O(ver), the usual good man and a description of apartheid

11a    A French aroma preceded getting separated (9)
{ UNTANGLED } – a charade of the French indefinite article, an aroma and a verb meaning preceded or went first gives a different verb meaning getting separated

12a    Starts to stand up, riding foaming sea (5)
{ SURFS } – the initial letters of five words in the clue give an action defined by the whole clue

13a    Filled initially working trowel around palmetto ends? (9)
{ FLOWERPOT } – start with the initial letter of Filled and then put an anagram (working) of TROWEL around the end letters of P almett O – so where is the definition? Try reading the whole clue, but I’m not convinced

16a    She’s caught in a made-up story (5)
{ ALICE } – to get this girl’s name put C(aught) inside A from the clue and a made up story or fib

18a    Outing in charge of old characters (5)
{ RUNIC } – this outing, possibly in the car, is followed by the abbreviation of In Charge to get an adjective meaning of old Germanic characters

19a         He studies bug, otherwise holding wasp’s tail (9)
{ INSPECTOR } – this person who studies or examines is created by putting a bug and a two-letter word meaning otherwise around the final letter (tail) of was P

20a         Chick left creating pandemonium (5)
{ BABEL } – another affectionate name for a young girl is followed by L(eft) to get this pandemonium that originated from the Tower where, according to the biblical story, God made the builders all speak different languages.

22a         Cursed bird when draped round neck? (9)
{ ALBATROSS } – this bird is used symbolically to mean an oppressive and inescapable fact (from the dead bird hung round the neck of the sailor in Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner)

25a         Run following sweetheart, tense holding hands (9)
{ ELOPEMENT } – put a word meaning to run after the middle letter (heart) of sw E et and follow it with T(ense) and then insert (holding) hands or crew on a ship – once again the whole clue acts as the definition

26a         Being performed by Lyric Theatre? (5)
{ ODEON } – put a two-letter word meaning being performed after (by) a lyric or poem that is sung  to get a theatre for musical contests In ancient Greece and Rome

27a         Boxer wet leg and I threw wobbly! (12)
{ WELTERWEIGHT } – this category in boxing  is an anagram (wobbly) of WET LEG and I THREW


1d           Vegetable stew once prepared preserving recipe (9)
{ SWEETCORN } – the yellow kernels of this variety of maize are eaten as a vegetable and are an anagram (prepared) of STEW ONCE around (preserving) R(ecipe)

2d           Name of boxer and some rottweilers! (5)
{ TYSON } – the name of this famous former heavyweight boxing champion is also frequently given by the typically inadequate people who own them to rottweilers

3d           Winds round reel (5)
{ SPOOL } – reverse a verb meaning winds or coils to get this reel on which yarn is wound

4d           Doctor instead to produce cures (9)
{ ANTIDOTES } – an anagram (doctor) of INSTEAD TO gives these cures

5d           Put differently, Tory leader charged with reprimand (9)
{ TRANSLATE } – A verb meaning to put differently is constructed from the initial letter (leader) of T ory, a verb meaning charged or raced and to reprimand

6d           Willow is more blooming having top removed (5)
{ OSIER } – this name for any willow whose twigs are used in making baskets is created by dropping the initial R (top removed) from an adjective meaning more blooming

7d           Impossible if blues fan changes, accepting Queen (12)
{ INSUFFERABLE } – an adjective meaning impossible or  too much to bear is derived by putting an anagram (changes) of IF BLUES FAN around (accepting) the usual abbreviation of for the Queen

10d         Spin Premier’s spouting on broadcast (12)
{ MISREPRESENT } – this verb meaning to spin in the way popularised by the dodgy dossier merchants of the last government is created from an anagram (spouting) of PREMIER’S followed by a word meaning  broadcast or transmitted

14d         Select former unit on hospital department (9)
{ EXCELLENT } – this adjective meaning select or special is a charade of a former partner, a political unit and a hospital department

15d         Brig stripped vessel taken by fellow warship (9)
{ PRIVATEER } – put the inside letters (stripped) of (B)RI(G) and a large vessel or tank inside a fellow or equal to get this warship commissioned to seize and plunder an enemy’s ships

17d         Footprint ‘Rover’ trailed catching lone wolf (9)
{ INTROVERT } – hidden inside the clue is this lone wolf

21d         Front of bib with dribble from drink (5)
{ BOOZE } – start with the initial (front) letter of B ib and follow it with a verb meaning to dribble to get a slang word for alcoholic drink

23d         Soak hit on hot European (5)
{ BATHE } – a verb meaning to soak in a tub is created from a verb meaning to hit a cricket ball followed by H(ot) and E(uropean)

24d         Last item removed in strip? (5)
{ THONG } – a cryptic definition of what is usually the last item removed by a stripper also works as a double definition – an item used by a cobbler at his last and a strip [Thanks to those who pointed this out]

A very meaty puzzle, although I found some of the all-in-one defintions to be a bit iffy.

The Quick crossword pun: { ban } + { clone } = { bank loan }


  1. Roland
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Yes, I agree ref 13a and the missing definition. A similar issue with 25a too I thought (double use of “run”?) Still, an enjoyable puzzle ***/*** I’d say. Thanks to Ray T and to BD.

  2. Posted February 23, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I struggled with this and have only just finished it, having started at 7:15am. Once I’d corrected my answer to 9a I slotted 10d in easily. Until then I wondered how Easter Rising fitted the clue. Stupid boy! :-)

  3. Jezza
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Marginally trickier than normal, and plenty of fun to solve.
    Thanks to Ray T, and BD.

    I thought the Toughie was good too, and it took me about the same time to complete as this one.

  4. Posted February 23, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    I did not find it quite so difficult as the normal Thursday offering. After solving a few anagrams I had plenty of checking letters to work with. 13a very weak but that was all it could be. I did enjoy doing it despite the few odd clues.

  5. Posted February 23, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Au revoir. I can’t do 4* puzzles. I think that RayT makes them too difficult and the points of entry are few

    • Roland
      Posted February 23, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Hi CW – personally, I didn’t think it was 4*. I’d give it a go, you may be pleasantly surprised.

      • Posted February 23, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        Ok Roland, here goes

        • Posted February 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

          It’s horses for courses I think as Ray T is my favourite setter while I struggle with Giovanni.

          • Posted February 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

            My preference is for Rufus

            • mary
              Posted February 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

              Abslutely, me too collywobs, I love his sharp witty no nonsense clues, but horses for courses as they say or each to her own! :-)

          • Kath
            Posted February 23, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

            Ray T is my favourite setter too, spindrift. I used to struggle with Giovanni on Fridays and Virgilius on Sundays but I have learnt SO much from this blog that I can usually make a pretty good attempt on Fridays and Sundays these days. Of course knowing that help is available makes a huge difference to how much I “perservate”!!

  6. Lord Luvvaduck
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I am afraid that I am not one of Ray T’s many fans and today’s offering did not convince me to change my view. 13a is an obvious example but 2d leaves me cold and I am still struggling to understand my answers to 15d and 25a. I do like to understand my answers and so often on a Thursday I don’t. On the positive side, 12a was nice and for once I forgive the use of a girl’s name since this particular one, in 16a, does have a clever connection.

    • Roland
      Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Hi LL, Ref 15d, Brig stripped of it’s outer letters, followed by a 3 letter vessel, all surrounded (taken) by a 4 letter word meaning fellow. The definition being warship (which is a bit of a stretch I agree, I thought it meant a pirate ship – but close enough?)

      • Lord Luvvaduck
        Posted February 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Roland – the muddy water is a little clearer. I have not come across the general word for a lord being used for ‘fellow’ before.

        • Posted February 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

          From Chambers:

          * An equal
          * A fellow
          * An antagonist (Spenser)
          * A noble of the rank of baron upward
          * Generally, a noble
          * A member of the House of Lords
          * One of Charlemagne’s paladins
          * A member of any similar body

          • Lord Luvvaduck
            Posted February 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

            Yes, indeed – all familiar except for Nos 2 and 3 in the list

            • Posted February 23, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

              If it’s in Chambers it is considered to be fair game.

              • Lord Luvvaduck
                Posted February 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

                Fair ’nuff

                • Roland
                  Posted February 23, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

                  I was thinking of it in terms of a peer group being a collection of equals or fellows.

                  • Lord Luvvaduck
                    Posted February 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

                    I see what you mean. I thought that Chambers had it as a straight-forward synonym for ‘fellow’, as in “Hail, peer, and well met”, perhaps! Your interpretation makes better sense.

  7. Esprit
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I got through it and quite enjoyed it – but I agree that 13a is unconvincing. I suppose it’s trying to be an all in one carried by the “planty” words. I think I’ve got 25a, but can’t for the life of me see how it works. Look forward to seeing the hints and comments. Thanks. On my way up to London now – a bit of business and then an exhibition or something!

  8. upthecreek
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Typical RayT with lots of nudge nudge moments and of course, Queen. I enjoyed it immensely and favourite amongst many was 9a. Also liked 1a [surely a song there, BD] 13 15 19 22 ete etc. Thanks a lot Ray – its made my day.

    • Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      I’ll see if i can find a video of the original version – the same thought occurred to me!

    • Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Now added – sometimes the recorded versions can’t be embedded due to copyright.

      • upthecreek
        Posted February 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for that but all i am getting is a piece of jigsaw!

        • upthecreek
          Posted February 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

          Its OK now. Nice to hear one of the old classics again.

    • Kath
      Posted February 23, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      It made my day too, UTC! I always love his puzzles and today we had no power so I had to do it on my own – a bit of a challenge but nice to know that if help is not available I CAN do it!!

  9. Roger
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I thoroughly enjoyed this. A difficult one to start but gradually the clues dropped into place. I agree about 13A and await BD’s explanation of 25A

  10. handlebars
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure about 25ac must be something like e (from sweet) followed by lope (run) then men (hands) finishing with t (tense)

    • Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      You’ve got it!

      • Roland
        Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        Hi BD, but either there’s no definition, or run is also the definition and is doing a double shift (?)

        • Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

          The whole clue is the definition.

          • Roland
            Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

            Ok – guess so (ish). Thanks Gazza.

            • Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

              This is a typical Ray T clue that is very difficult for many solvers. I feel that the clue is very abstruse. Thanks for your confidence Roland but I think that I’ll leave it. I really do not feel comfortable with RayT puzzles. I think that they are over complicated

              • Posted February 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

                Don’t give up. Try it, youve got the hints to help. 12 months ago I felt like you but learning from this site I completed it today. Go on, Surprise yourself.

                • Posted February 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

                  OK bf I’ll give it another go. Tks for your support

                  • Posted February 23, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

                    Phew, just finished. Had to use some of BD’s hints, for which many thanks BD, but I gradually found it easier than I first thought. When will we get the illustration for 24d?

                    • mary
                      Posted February 23, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

                      Welll done on your perservation :-)

                    • Roland
                      Posted February 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

                      Well done CW – we had faith!

              • Kath
                Posted February 23, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

                I do think that there are other things that are more typical of Ray T clues!!!! :lol:

      • Posted February 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        BD – I’m not sure that your explanation for 25a is correct…should’nt it be put a word for “run” instead of “elope”…

  11. Roger
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    25A Run = lope following the heart of sweet…E but then I struggle! E and N could be bridge hands..double meaning = elopement = holding hands. Is there a short form for a tense (past, pluperfect type of thing) which is MT?

  12. Colmce
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Aaah, I’m getting the hang of the comments in relation to my own skills.
    Very straight forward equals very difficult.
    A little harder than usual equals well nigh impossible.:)

    Really needed the hints, many thanks.

  13. Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Another rather tricksy Ray T today. Like many others, I could no t see a definition on 13A, 25A, 2D of 15D but they were solvable from the checking letters etc. I must say hough, that I thoroughly enjoyed 12A 19A and 22A and there were some nice anagrams to solve in 21A and 7D.

  14. Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Agree with the BD rating today – I think this is a Beam that went astray – I can usualy solve a Ray T in under half this time. I thought 13a was trying to be an all-in-one too. Thanks to Ray for an unexpectedly extra brain stretching this morning and to BD for the explanations.

    The Toughie is worth a try too.

  15. jerseyboytoo
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    could some kind soul explain the link between the word tyson and a dog? Or was he nicknamed a R weiller?

    • Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      That was my take on it – it’s a popular name for that breed of dog, a bit like Rover for other dogs

    • Roland
      Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      I think it’s just a reflection of the fact that apparently, a lot of dogs such as Rottweilers that are kept as weapons and status symbols by gang members etc are called Tyson.

      • Kath
        Posted February 23, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        Yes, and Staffie crosses – the ones that, in my experience, and that of our sweet, gentle and elderly little collie, are likely to attack with no reason – yet again, don’t start me …

    • Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      There was a preponderance of dogs named Tyson when the boxer was famous. We even had a yorkie in our local pub with the name. I assumed that was the answer. Ray may tell us later.

    • Posted February 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      It’s also probably got something to do with the word only having two syllables to remember for the educationally challenged…

  16. Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I’m with you CS. I usually run throug Ray T but struggled a bit with this. I’m looking forward to seing the hint for 23 down as my own explanation is very iffy. There were some nice doh moments though. Thanks to BD and Ray T.

    • Posted February 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Soak in a ‘tub’ Hit (3) + H(ot) and E(uropean).

      • Posted February 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Just got back from OPD. Hadn’t thought of hit in that way! doh.

    • Posted February 23, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      I’m looking forward more to seeing the illustration for 24d :D

      • Jezza
        Posted February 23, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        When I got to that clue, I thought it was simply gratuitous schoolboy humour… hoorah, don’t you just love it?! :)

      • Posted February 23, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        Me as well. :)

  17. BigBoab
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    “You can’t like all of the quizzes all of the time” I am a big fan of RayT and his crosswords but I personally rated this about 2* for difficulty and enjoyment, maybe I’m having a bad day. Thanks anyway to RayT and to BD. Like Gazza I am looking forward to the illustration for 24d ( and mayhaps 20a )

  18. nicat
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I actually managed to finish it today before the hints came in, but it was a struggle with some! However, I don’t always understand why the answers are correct and I await the down clue hints. I started doing the Cryptic crossword at the beginning of Feb and was delighted to find this site with all its hints. I understand how to tackle many more of the clues than I did before. Thank you so much.

    • Posted February 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Nicat

    • Kath
      Posted February 23, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      I think that if you only started doing the cryptics a month ago and managed to finish this one without hints you are doing AMAZINGLY well. Fantastic!! This is a really great blog – all the clever people who write the hints are very knowledgable and helpful – if you don’t understand something you only need to ask and someone will help out!

  19. njm
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    As usual with Ray T, I feared initially that I would never even be able to start, then by dribs and drabs I found I’d done half of it. Once BD gave an hint for 1A, which I’d never have done on my own, the rest of the puzzle just followed on!
    Got 13a early on, but didn’t like the (lack of) definition, and remain unconvinced by 25a, even with BD’s explanation.
    4*/3* for me, but I think it is really too hard for a back page puzzle.

  20. Heno
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Ray T and Big Dave for the review & hints. Way too tough for me. Needed 7 across hints so far. Still not finished, stuck on 5 down clues with all the checkers in. Feel like a novice again would never have got this far without the hints. More like 5* for difficulty.

    • Heno
      Posted February 23, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Phew! Finished at last, agree with Crypticsue, a Beam in the wrong place :-)

      • Kath
        Posted February 23, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

        Much as I love his puzzles I also think that it could be a Beam in the wrong place – or maybe I was just in the wrong place today!

  21. beaver
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Definately**** and** for me today,relieved when i’d finished it! Like many others did not like the inexactness of 13 and 25 also regarding 9, i’ve never seen O for OVER before-has anyone else?

    • Roland
      Posted February 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      I guess the abbreviation “O” is used in cricket to mean over or overs in a bowler’s or batsman’s analysis. i.e. O = overs, M = maidens, R = runs etc etc.

      • beaver
        Posted February 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Thanks-over and out

  22. Brian
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm! No comment.

    • Franco
      Posted February 23, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      I’m usually a big fan of RayT – but, for once, I agree with you! Hmmm!

      • Posted February 23, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink


      • Kath
        Posted February 23, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

        You traitor, Franco!! :smile: I did think it was a bit tricky but SO many clues that made me laugh … yet another of his trademarks!

  23. Franco
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Phew! Wot a scorcher! Not the puzzle but the weather! (Ok not so hot but at least 10 degrees warmer than yesterday).

    I’m joining the anti-brigade concerning 2d, 13a & 25a. Didn’t really understand 22a either – cryptic?.

    (No illustration yet for 24d – I hope it’s not Borat again! Ref: DT26652)

    • Posted February 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Don’t tempt me!

    • Posted February 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      Franco, You’ve never read Coleridge’s ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’? Shame on you.

      • Franco
        Posted February 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        skempie, 22a – I think I was forced to read ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ at school – bloody Jesuit teachers!

        I solved it, but is it just GK? Can you parse it from the clue?

        • Posted February 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          Wasn’t it on the O level syllabus in the 1960s?

        • Posted February 23, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

          I think you can parse it fro the clue. The albatross has always been considered to be an unlucky (cursed) bird my sea going folks and in TROTAM the albatross is hung around his neck as punishment for killing it. Works for me.

  24. Linda
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Hard today with peculiar clues . Anagrams ok Flowerpot?

    • Posted February 23, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      Hi Linda – welcome to the blog.

  25. Roland
    Posted February 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    BD, I think your hint/explanation of 25a needs “a coat of looking at”.

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